Best Bets

Laguiole Knife Set
Photo: Mikako Koyama

The Best Bet
Why? It’s an eye-popping modern version of a knife that’s been handmade in the French village of Laguiole for almost two centuries. Assembled in 50 steps by a single craftsman sitting at a bench, this steak knife has a blade that’s all business: It’s forged from high-carbon stainless steel (the higher the carbon, the stronger the blade and the less care it needs to stay sharp). But in a concession to the 21st century, the handle is made from neon-colored acrylic glass (the original had a handmade horn or wood grip), making Laguiole’s the only knife of this caliber that doesn’t take itself too seriously. An all-stainless-steel version designed by Philippe Starck is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Maybe this one should be, too ($625 for a set of six at Moss; 212-226-2190 or

LL Bean Tote Black & Decker Laser Level Blahnik Pump
Photo: Bela Borsodi and Paul Graves

(1) Why? With a touch of sandalwood for men and a dash of citrus for ladies, Creed’s Original Vetiver eau de parfum is perfect for couples (three sizes, $90–$198, at Bergdorf Goodman).

(2) Why? A 60-year-old design that started life as an “ice carrier” is surprisingly fresh in L.L.Bean’s camouflage ($27–$37 at or 800-809-7057).

(3) Why? Black & Decker’s Crossfire Auto Laser Level magically projects a level line ($99.99; or 800-544-6986).

(4) Why? Puffy eyes deserve a treatment that both feels and smells better than Preparation H (twelve-pack, $38 at Shu Uemura; or 212-979-5500).

(5) Why? Union Square Greenmarket’s harvest reminds you we’re in the middle of one of the best apple seasons in memory.

(6) Why? This reissue of Blahnik’s classic Farinelli pump has never been available in alligator before now ($2,800 at Barneys New York; 212-826-8900).

(7) Why? Devi Kroell’s metallicized python clutches have an iridescent surface ($990 at Takashimaya; 212-350-0100 or

(8) Why? Bennett Liberty spends eighteen hours cutting and forming these smooth copper bowls, then covers them with shagreen leather ($300–$2,000; 212-254-5607 or

(9) Why? Reinaldo Sanguino’s unique ceramics are handmade, food-safe, and hold water ($450 at Robert Passal Interiors; 212-242-5508).

Best Bets